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Agency giving toys to children with cancer moves to New Oxford

Katherine Ranzenberger
505-5439/@YDKatherine
  • Children's Cancer Recovery Foundation is moving to New Oxford after Labor Day.
  • The 501(c)(3) was founded by a stage IV lung cancer patient in 1990.
  • Volunteers and donors can find more information online at childrenscancerrecovery.org.

A national gift-giving organization is going to call New Oxford home after Labor Day weekend.

Children's Cancer Recovery Foundation chose the Adams County location because of the commitment from the community and the welcoming feeling, according to Jocelyn Davis, executive director for the charity.

"It's the perfect match for what we need," Davis said. "We needed a professional space that also had a warehouse area. We have all these toys to store in our office."

CCRF is a national organization that collects toys and sends them to children 18 and younger who have cancer. The organization gives scholarships for summer camps as well as financial assistance for families struggling to pay bills. It serves around 17,000 children and families each year.

The 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization was started in 1990 by stage IV lung cancer patient Greg Anderson. He was diagnosed in 1984 and was given 30 days to live. He is still alive today, and he has founded multiple nonprofit organizations supporting cancer research and funding.

CCRF has rented space in Harrisburg for the last seven years. Davis said it was time to settle down and find a place to help serve the children in a financially responsible way. The new location is at 249 Lincoln Way East in New Oxford.

The warehouse of the Children's Cancer Recovery Foundation houses tens of thousands of toys for kids across the nation. (Courtesy, Children's Cancer Recovery Foundation)

"Each of the 17,000 families we aid this year will receive services directly from this office," Davis said. "This requires CCRF to rely heavily upon community support — it's exactly that which led us to Adams County — we admire the generosity we've witnessed so far and are excited to have the support of the local community as we create smiles, inspire hope and rediscover childhood."

Six people work for CCRF, but the charity is constantly on the lookout for volunteers to help pick out toys for children around the country. Davis said the group had a record first quarter, sending gifts to more than 4,000 children.

"Each child gets three gifts," she said, "so that's more than 12,000 toys we've shipped out just in the first quarter. Our gift program is like an immediate support system to those kids to make sure they know they're not going through this time alone."

Davis said the foundation believes it takes more than just medicine for children to overcome cancer. These gifts, as well as a positive attitude and support system, can make a difference.

"That’s where our three core programs originate," she said. "Bear-Able Gifts help the child feel like a kid while in the hospital; Helping Hands Fund relieves some stress from the parents so that they can be there for their child; Camp Scholarships give the child something to look forward to. We exist to help these children and their families make the most out of a very unfortunate and trying situation."

Davis said the move also means the charity will be looking for new volunteers and companies to donate toys. The group sends gifts to children year-round, she said, so it's a good way for companies to get volunteer time for their employees or for schools to donate time.

Families who would like a toy or gift sent to their sick child can contact CCRF at childrens@cancerrecovery.org. Friends can refer families for assistance by emailing CCRF or by filling out a form online. Submissions are reviewed by staff, and then volunteers help pick out and package the gifts.

For information on how to donate, volunteer or start a toy drive, visit childrenscancerrecovery.org.

— Reach Katherine Ranzenberger at kranzenberger@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @YDKatherine.